The HCV Race: Gilead Plowing Ahead With ‘7977; Bristol Eyes First-To-Market Opportunity With All-Oral Combo In Asia
Several companies developing candidates for hepatitis C updated their plans during the recent round of quarterly earnings calls, outlining everything from strategies to be first-to-market with an all-oral combination of direct-acting antivirals to an emerging market strategy for pegylated interferon.
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Bristol’s $2.5 billion tender for Inhibitex left many industry observers waiting to see what HCV players will do with only two independent pure-play HCV biotechs left. Idenix is eager to get its mid-stage nucleotide free of an FDA partial clinical hold, while Achillion says it has the assets to go it alone in the HCV competition.
Driven by a desire to acquire Phase II nucleotide polymerase inhibitor INX-189, the pharma agrees to pay a 163% premium over Inhibitex’s closing share price on Jan. 6.
The planned purchase price of $11 billion, or $137 a share, an 89% premium over Pharmasset’s closing price on Nov. 18, is by far the highest ever paid for a clinical-stage biotech.